SCAM ALERTS [Visit SCAMwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au for all SCAMwatch radar alerts] New round of scam scratchie cards in the mail August 2011: SCAMwatch and Carnival Australia are warning Australians to beware of a new spate of scam scratchie cards and travel brochures sent in the mail. http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/867806 Computer remote access scammers now masquerading as Telstra…

Read More New Scam Alerts – ACCC

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Victoria’s peak body for financial counselling, the Financial and Consumer Rights Council (a CFA member) has released a flyer explaining the assistance available to flood affected Victorians. The flyer describes the free, independent, confidential financial counselling services available to all Victorian consumers. It lists the following agencies that have been specifically funded to provide flood…

Read More Help for Victorians with flood related financial problems

There is only one more week to go until the 2011 ACCAN National Conference, a chance to explore and question what universal access to high-speed broadband will mean for Australian consumers. Far from being a meeting of “tech heads”, this conference will offer an in-depth exploration of the bigger picture challenges, opportunities and possibilities presented…

Read More One week to ACCAN Conference: Our Broadband Future

ACCC receives Telstra’s structural separation undertaking and draft migration plan Issued 1st August 2011 NR 133/11 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received a structural separation undertaking and a draft migration plan from Telstra. http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1000404/fromItemId/2332 ACCC finalises fixed line telecommunications prices and delivers pricing certainty and stability to industry Issued 21st July 2011 NR…

Read More ACCC telecommunications update

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  issued a discussion paper (18 August 2011) seeking submissions on the service description for a Layer 2 bitstream service. The consultation is the first step in issuing a declaration that creates the ACCC’s role in regulating this service. This declaration is intended to cover the ‘last mile’ fibre to…

Read More ACCC begins public consultation on “last mile” fibre to residences

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The Consumer Action Law Centre has welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed cap on the amounts lenders of high cost short term loans (often referred to as ‘payday loans’) can recover from consumers, saying that the proposed changes would better protect consumers from lenders who currently charge effective interest rates upwards of 600 per cent per…

Read More An end to 600% interest rates? Welcome action by governments

Phone shock

Consumers groups like ACCAN and Choice have long called for an end to misleading mobile phone marketing practices. ZDNet has now joined the call with  an interesting analysis of current mobile phone plans, Building and Honest Mobile Phone Plan. They nail 5 things wrong with current selling: 1. Low prices points suck people in. 2.…

Read More The search for an ‘honest’ mobile phone plan: five things wrong with how plans are sold today

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Energy retail contracts have been put under the microscope in a report released by CFA member Consumer Action Law Centre. And while the report found that most contracts largely met their regulatory requirements, a lack of contract clarity, consistency and access to information, proved significant barriers to consumer understanding and effective competition. Just sign here……

Read More Complex energy contracts are confusing consumers and stifling choice

Australians who find themselves in a spot of bother with their car have a good chance of making a successful insurance claim, a review of motor vehicle insurers has found. ASIC’s review of more than 1.2 million claims made during 2009 found only 3317 (0.3%) were formally denied. The report also found a relatively low…

Read More ASIC finds high level of withdrawn motor vehicle insurance claims

ASIC urges consumers to check the credentials of businesses they deal with, following complaints it has received from consumers about two unlicensed businesses offering home loans with an upfront fee. Ezy Savings and Caveat Loans ITstrong are not registered Australian companies or businesses nor do they have an Australian office or valid business address. However,…

Read More ASIC warns about fake loan offers

Wayne Hawkins, disability policy adviser at ACCAN writes: As you may be aware the government is undertaking a review of access to telecommunications by people with disability, older Australians and people experiencing illness. ACCAN will be making a detailed submission to the review . One of our key areas of work is in the area…

Read More Access to telecommunications review – input to ACCAN submission